To be 69 years young and still to feel like 19
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - March 19, 2019 - 12:00am

Today is the feast day of St. Joseph, patron saint of good husbands. Those who are born today are under the western zodiac sign of Pisces. These people are very serious, deep-thinking, contemplative and reflective but quite sensitive, easy to please but have difficulty forgetting those who hurt them.

We, who are born in 1950, are also under the eastern zodiac sign of the metal tiger, who happens to be very lucky in the year of the rat. Tigers are passionate, pioneering, adventurous, and love to shine and be the center of attention. Tigers succeed as actors, politicians, and yes, lawyers, trial lawyers, and advocates of people-related causes. Tigers are hot lovers and fierce warriors, but fight with valor and gallantry.

Men and women born today are already 69 years old if their birth year was 1950 like me. I know of many contemporaries who claim they are 50 above the belt and 19 below the belt. At 50, one usually has high blood, diabetes, and cardio-pulmonary issues, while those who are 19 still have strong knees and feet that love to walk and travel the world.

I am one of them, 50 above the belt and 19 below.  I was born on the same day, the same month and the same year as Archbishop Jose Palma. Had I pursued my priesthood dream, I would have been a bishop by now, with the grace of God. But I am not as godly as Palma, and so I ended up becoming a lawyer. Alas, lawyers are not appreciated well in the Bible, though it was a lawyer, St. Joseph Arimathea who offered his tomb to Jesus.

According to Victor Hugo, 40 is the old age of youth and 50 is the youth of old age. To me, only my body aged, my heart and mind are very young, full of passion, driven by constant desire to explore new fields of interest and wanting to go new places.

I have written more than 20 law and HR books but I also love to write poetry, biographies, and essays on contemporary issues. I have already visited Rome, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and almost the whole of Europe from Amsterdam to Switzerland. I have been to all 50 US states including Alaska and Hawaii. I lived in Malaysia, Kuwait, and Taiwan for a total of nine years, but I still want to explore such places as Senegal, Aruba, Zimbabwe, and Tobago.

I want to do many small things of kindness and compassion. I want to bring a thousand beggars to my mountain in Pusodsawa, Langin, Ronda, Cebu, where I will entertain them with food, drinks, and music for a day. I want to give a bath to a thousand street children and pay for their meals in a fast food chain of their choice, then bring them to Basdiot, Moalboal, to go swimming for a day in Panagsama Beach.

I want to build houses for the urban poor if I can get each of my 100 clients to sponsor one decent house for every family I know. I want to send farmers' children to college. I want to tell the world that much can be done for others if we only love and understand enough. I want to persuade leaders that if we burn all the guns and reallocate the budget for war into food, no one will die of starvation and poverty.

Yes, my body is 69 but my heart is still 19, filled with many dreams, and many aspirations. I work very hard, attending to 100 clients, fighting cases in court, consoling many distressed and hopeless clients, teaching in three universities, writing many books, meeting a lot of friends, speaking in many fora, spreading the good news, and still serving in my parish church, and loving my wife, children and grandkids.

Time is too short and there are so many mountains to climb. Today is my birthday, and what a wonderful life I have. I thank the Lord and my loved ones for making it very exciting.

ST. JOSEPH
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